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May 12, 2005


One of my guests emailed me after the celebration: "Barbara, loved the food last night. kudos to you and the chef...One question: For those of us with somewhat delicate kishkes, I have learned that eating lettuce with beans is supposed to help reduce their gasacious power. I have not done an empirical study. I looked around the table last night for lettuce and saw none...was wondering if you know whether other veggies have the same tamping down the bean power. The ful was...delicious, but I did not eat too much of it. I know you are catering to many special food needs but why not just throw a few green leaves onto the table near a bean dish. Thanks."

So far as I know, lettuce will not do the trick. Here is what I wrote back:

"Thanks! You were reading my mind. I always have greens on the table, but not this time. Never heard about lettuce or greens having that effect--some greens can create gas. But, greens on the table. Absolutely!" Beans are not the only culprit. High fibre foods, especially if you are not used to them, can cause gas. What I do know is that:

  • asfoetida, which is used in Indian cooking, is supposed to reduce gas.

  • Also, soaking and throwing off the water.

  • And, Mexicans use epazote.

  • Another trick: Try cooking beans with a washed, unpeeled, whole orange. Add the orange to the pot with the beans, cook the beans, and remove and discard the orange when the beans have finished cooking.

  • Or, do a gas-free soak: Place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water; boil for 2-3 minutes, cover and set aside overnight. The next day approximately 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars will have dissolved into the soaking water. Drain, and then rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking them.

  • Palliatives include cumin, caraway, ajwain, turmeric, and konbu.

Posted by BKG at May 12, 2005 04:04 AM


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